Turkey Continues Oil, Gas Drilling in E. Mediterranean

Turkey Continues Oil, Gas Drilling in E. MediterraneanTurkey Continues Oil, Gas Drilling in E. Mediterranean

Two Turkish drill ships are continuing operations in the eastern Mediterranean and another ship will join them this month, Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said, as a dispute over natural resources there fuels tensions between Turkey and Cyprus.
EU members Cyprus and Turkey have argued for years regarding the ownership of fossil fuels in the eastern Mediterranean, where Ankara says Turkish Cypriots are entitled to a share of the resources, Reuters reported.
Turkey rejects agreements the internationally recognized Cypriot government has reached with other Mediterranean states on maritime economic zones.
Turkey has sent two drilling ships, Fatih and Yavuz, as well as an exploration vessel, to operate in waters off the divided island of Cyprus, prompting accusations from Greece that it is undermining security in the region.
Aboard the Yavuz drill ship, off the northeastern coast of Cyprus, Donmez told reporters that a second exploration vessel would begin work in the area by the end of August. A Turkish frigate and patrol boat accompanied the Yavuz.
Turkey’s operations in the region have drawn a reaction from its western allies, including the European Union and the United States.
EU foreign ministers last month suspended negotiations on a comprehensive air transport agreement and decided not to hold further EU-Turkey high-level dialogue for the time being.


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